Miesha Tate Says She Was in a 'Very Dark Place' Before Leaving UFC in 2016

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVApril 1, 2021

Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Miesha Tate said mental health struggles led to her retirement from MMA in 2016. 

"I was struggling mentally and emotionally and I was in a very dark place, and I needed to take time away. I needed to take time away from everything," Tate told ESPN's Ariel Helwani.

Tate retired after losing via unanimous decision to Raquel Pennington at UFC 205. Just 30 at the time of her retirement, Tate's decision to walk away surprised many given she was less than a year removed from winning the UFC bantamweight championship.

Tate will come out of retirement to fight Marion Reneau at July's UFC Fight Night 192 event. 

Reneau, 43, is in the last bout of her UFC contract and is expected to retire after the fight. 

Tate has expressed no lack of confidence in her skills, saying she hopes to work her way up the division and fight Amanda Nunes. 

"I know everybody thinks I’m so crazy because [they'll think:] ‘What is she doing? Taking four years off and coming back and thinking she can beat Amanda [Nunes]," Tate said on MMA Junkie Radio. "But I’ve always been that way, I’m always gonna believe in myself. I’m always gonna, you know, shoot for the moon, and if I miss I land among the stars. That’s just kind of my mentality going into this. I have to believe in myself and I really do."

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Nunes is considered the greatest women's fighter in UFC history and has held the bantamweight championship since defeating Tate in 2016.